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JohnT

What speakers for $2,000?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Do you have something like this nearby?

 

 

-pic-

 

I'm sure somewhere in San Francisco. I should probably look around for an audition center.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I know people are stratching their head asking "why spend so much on a speaker" to which i would reply "you should listen to a pair first before saying that"

 

I tried martin logan summit X in a best buy before with McIntosh tube preamp with separated power block. The speaker costs $15K a pair and the only thing that beats the sound that came out of that electrostatic (yes, electrostatic speaker) speaker is a $40K home theatre setup.

 

Dare I say $2K for a pair floorstanding is a modest budget

 

That sounds spot on. It's all pretty relative. Some of these prices might be a bit intimidating for the general age of this forum's users. That's why I said it's not the typical request for suggestions as the start of my post.

 

Why can't people get mad at others who recommend speakers like Bose? Talk about expensive speakers.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

 

 

 

My mother asks me why do I spend a big part of my salary on headphones that cost alot. I tend to reply to her "why spend thousands of $ on bags?". Simply because we want the best of something out of our money. So, why spend $2k on speakers? The real question should be "why NOT spend $2k on speakers?"

 

 

You can't call your mother out like that... even if it's true  :lol:

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Floor standing is preferred, but I didn't want to be terribly limiting. Based on what I know, I might be able to get better bookshelf speakers for my budget than floor standing just because there's less materials.

Agree. Bookshelves also work better for typical PC distances, as you can position them better.

Most floorstanding speakers are designed to sound good at a distance. The output from the multiple drivers have to "focus" or converge with little phase issues. When you get too close to them, you come across phase issues caused by the large path-length-differences between the drivers, breakup anomalies at the top end of each driver's range due to the off-axis listening position, and curtailed upper frequency response due to the dispersion characteristics of the speaker.

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That sounds spot on. It's all pretty relative. Some of these prices might be a bit intimidating for the general age of this forum's users. That's why I said it's not the typical request for suggestions as the start of my post.

Why can't people get mad at others who recommend speakers like Bose? Talk about expensive speakers.

And what's the general age of this forum :P?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

And what's the general age of this forum :P?

 

I don't actually know, but if I had to hazard a guess, I'd say the general population is between 12 and 40, with the majority of people between 14 and 24. I wonder if I'm right!

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I don't actually know, but if I had to hazard a guess, I'd say the general population is between 12 and 40, with the majority of people between 14 and 24. I wonder if I'm right!

 

and my guess is you're out of the 14-24 range?  :ph34r:

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I don't actually know, but if I had to hazard a guess, I'd say the general population is between 12 and 40, with the majority of people between 14 and 24. I wonder if I'm right!

I'd fall in the general population range. I wish I was in the majority range. :D

 

Aside from the LSiM703, another pair that's really worth looking at would be the PSB Imagine B. The lower price(~$1100) frees you up for a well-matched amp like the NAD C 356BEE (~$800).

 

s-l1000.jpg

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Notice how crooked frequency response can become just 10-15 degrees off-axis vertically (this is with the towers already toed into your direction):

315Tenzofig5.jpg

This is typical with floor-standing speakers too close to the listening position (angle to the ears from the tweeter level gets too high). For most towers you'd want to sit with the tweeters near or just below ear level, at least a couple of yards away (the larger the tower, generally the farther you have to sit).

 

The off-axis and PLD anomalies get compounded even more without proper toe-in. Here's a measurement of a tower from on-axis to off-axis in degrees to each side:

315Tenzofig4.jpg

 

This is why for most computer applications, bookshelves and a sub would often be noticeably better (as long as they are properly set-up). Sure there are wide dispersion towers (like smaller coaxials), but bookshelves are just easier for this setup in general.

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Notice how crooked frequency response can become just 10-15 degrees off-axis vertically (this is with the towers already toed into your direction):

This is why for most computer applications, bookshelves and a sub would often be noticeably better (as long as they are properly set-up). Sure there are wide dispersion towers (like smaller coaxials), but bookshelves are just easier for this setup in general.

 

Good points here.

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Good points here.

Thanks man! I've been into audio for most of my life, both as a hobby and as work.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Notice how crooked frequency response can become just 10-15 degrees off-axis vertically (this is with the towers already toed into your direction):

 

 

-pic-

 

This is typical with floor-standing speakers too close to the listening position (angle to the ears from the tweeter level gets too high). For most towers you'd want to sit with the tweeters near or just below ear level, at least a couple of yards away (the larger the tower, generally the farther you have to sit).

 

The off-axis and PLD anomalies get compounded even more without proper toe-in. Here's a measurement of a tower from on-axis to off-axis in degrees to each side:

 

 

-pic-

 

This is why for most computer applications, bookshelves and a sub would often be noticeably better (as long as they are properly set-up). Sure there are wide dispersion towers (like smaller coaxials), but bookshelves are just easier for this setup in general.

 

I appreciate this information. I currently use tower speakers now and I can definitely hear a difference when playing with the toe angle. It is very apparent that towers sound better when you're a few yards away. This is absolutely correct. I had my 5.2 downstairs in the living room for about two months and they sounded relentless. I spent a lot of time playing with positioning and symmetry. Made a huge difference. In my loft, since I'm only a few feet away from the towers... they tend to sound a bit different. Sometimes in a bad way. But when I blast the volume and work around the house, they sound sort of perfect. It's a difficult situation. I might consider large bookshelf speakers instead.

 

 

Thanks man! I've been into audio for most of my life, both as a hobby and as work.

 

I'm curious what you do for work? 

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I appreciate this information. I currently use tower speakers now and I can definitely hear a difference when playing with the toe angle. It is very apparent that towers sound better when you're a few yards away. This is absolutely correct. I had my 5.2 downstairs in the living room for about two months and they sounded relentless. I spent a lot of time playing with positioning and symmetry. Made a huge difference. In my loft, since I'm only a few feet away from the towers... they tend to sound a bit different. Sometimes in a bad way. But when I blast the volume and work around the house, they sound sort of perfect. It's a difficult situation. I might consider large bookshelf speakers instead.

 

 

 

I'm curious what you do for work? 

You're welcome, John. The reasons for what you're noticing are likely mostly due to the mentioned items:

 

1. Dispersion: Dispersion pattern per driver varies by frequency reproduced and driver size. Once you go off-axis, the upper part of each driver's frequency range drops off in intensity (as those frequencies beam and don't disperse as much). The more off-axis you go, the more you get affected by this. The larger the driver, the narrower the dispersion pattern at any given frequency -- drivers in parallel (common in towers) work as much bigger drivers, so they are affected even more.

 

2. Path-Length-Difference: Crossovers are built to transition the output from one driver to another with the output remaining in phase at the listening position (or at least transition cleanly, if not necessarily in-phase). How this works is highly dependent on the relative distances from the ear to the listener. If you move closer to the speaker, the difference in distance between the drivers to your ear change. This can cause their outputs to arrive out of phase (since some drivers are much closer to you), causing suck-outs and anomalies (sometimes even flares) around the crossover frequency.

 

3. Voicing: Most large speakers are voiced to work with larger rooms, and may get boomy in a smaller environment (due to room modes and boundary loading). They also tend to have hotter highs, to compensate for the typical acoustical absorption.

 

I currently work for an unrelated field, but I used to do service and engineering work for Victor (consumer and professional) when it was still a Matsushita subsidiary. For sometime after that, I was also involved in HiFi equipment distribution.

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The perfect omnidirectional speaker is a point source that is perfectly linear (flat response with zero inertia).. thus no resonance and/or distortion. Such a device should sound great from any angle. Such a speaker does not exist however, as it is physically impossible to create (a point cannot displace air) and further compromises have to be made for every application.

 

Larger drivers and driver arrays are compromises to reduce distortion at higher displacement operation in exchange for a restricted listening sweet spot. The wider usable frequency range and higher output capacity of large towers come at a certain price.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Let me ask for a bit more help here.

 

The speaker that sparked my interest to begin with is the MTM-210. It's from an internet direct only company called PSA. I own two subs from them that I plan to pair with the future speakers I purchase. I'm a huge bass head and the subwoofers these guys put together are seriously good. They also offer speakers, but I can't tell much about them.

 

I want to ask you guys to look over the specs and the review. The review provides some plots. The reviewers admits he had some issues with reflection with some of his testing, so take that into account if you plan to examine the plots.

 

Link to the speaker: http://www.powersoundaudio.com/products/mtm-210

 

Link to a review: http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/speaker-subwoofer-reviews/113313-power-sound-audio-mtm-210-speaker-review.html#post1111641

 

They appear to be a cross-bread between towers and bookshelf speakers.

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Let me ask for a bit more help here.

 

The speaker that sparked my interest to begin with is the MTM-210. It's from an internet direct only company called PSA. I own two subs from them that I plan to pair with the future speakers I purchase. I'm a huge bass head and the subwoofers these guys put together are seriously good. They also offer speakers, but I can't tell much about them.

 

I want to ask you guys to look over the specs and the review. The review provides some plots. The reviewers admits he had some issues with reflection with some of his testing, so take that into account if you plan to examine the plots.

 

Link to the speaker: http://www.powersoundaudio.com/products/mtm-210

 

Link to a review: http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/speaker-subwoofer-reviews/113313-power-sound-audio-mtm-210-speaker-review.html#post1111641

 

They appear to be a cross-bread between towers and bookshelf speakers.

 

 
They are not cross-breeds, but they seem to be large 3-driver bookshelf speakers arranged in a D'Appolito array. Such arrays are very efficient and are great on-axis, but have a narrower radiation pattern. The narrow radiation pattern means that there would be less room interaction (good for pure sound), but also means that they can perform poorly when aimed incorrectly (aim them to your listening spot).

 

I have not tested them, but I am quite confident with PSA.They should play to very high levels with minimal distortion, as long as you cross them properly with your subwoofer. Have you chosen an amplifier for these speakers?

 

What subwoofers are you running? Based on the speaker choice, I'm guessing you play loud.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I have not tested them, but I am quite confident with PSA. These are narrow dispersion speakers and demand proper placement (aim them to your listening spot). They should play to very high levels with minimal distortion, as long as you cross them properly with your subwoofer. Have you chosen an amplifier for these speakers?

 

What subwoofers are you running? Based on the speaker choice, I'm guessing you play loud.

 

I have twin V3600i subs. I had the V1500, which is the sub on the right, but they introduced the V3600i like two weeks later and I jumped on it. Best decision I made yet, but sadly my Klipsch can't keep up. Kinda crazy for speakers that have a reputation of being bright. Let me say that I've never been called out by my neighbors or the cops. But yes my wife and I like to turn it up a bit. We listen about 75 dB nearby, and 95+ dB when we're downstairs.

 

post-192300-0-97814000-1441148961_thumb.

 

No amp just yet. I started another thread about the amp, and I received a few good suggestions. But looking for an amp with sub pre-outs and optical in very quickly turns into a receiver.

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I have twin V3600i subs. I had the V1500, which is the sub on the right, but they introduced the V3600i like two weeks later and I jumped on it. Best decision I made yet, but sadly my Klipsch can't keep up. Kinda crazy for speakers that have a reputation of being bright. Let me say that I've never been called out by my neighbors or the cops. But yes my wife and I like to turn it up a bit. We listen about 75 dB nearby, and 95+ dB when we're downstairs.

 

 

No amp just yet. I started another thread about the amp, and I received a few good suggestions. But looking for an amp with sub pre-outs and optical in very quickly turns into a receiver.

Congrats! Those are very nice units. There is really no replacement for displacement. :D

 

The MTM-210 speakers are the ones to get to keep up with those monsters.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Congrats! Those are very nice units. There is really no replacement for displacement. :D

 

The MTM-210 speakers are the ones to get to keep up with those monsters.

 

Thanks man! :) They are a treat. I had the opportunity to work on a massive software development project for my company, and they paid generously. These subwoofers were my splurge. 

 

And they are scary. 50% gain is for the truly brave or hearing impaired, or for those who want to become hearing impaired very soon. I don't know how they designed a subwoofer that provides bass during music, and thunder during movies and gaming. 

 

I'm a little nervous for the juice box I need to buy to amplify the front speakers. I might make like spwath and buy a used receiver until I can bring myself to drain more money into this setup.

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Thanks man! :) They are a treat. I had the opportunity to work on a massive software development project for my company, and they paid generously. These subwoofers were my splurge. 

 

And they are scary. 50% gain is for the truly brave or hearing impaired, or for those who want to become hearing impaired very soon. I don't know how they designed a subwoofer that provides bass during music, and thunder during movies and gaming. 

 

I'm a little nervous for the juice box I need to buy to amplify the front speakers. I might make like spwath and buy a used receiver until I can bring myself to drain more money into this setup.

 

You're welcome. I am sure they are great. :) I have an 18" sub in one of my systems myself, and I truly love it (though it takes a lot of space). My other systems rely on 10" or 12" units for the most part. 

 

There are many amplifier options. These speakers shouldn't be hard to drive so you can also look at lower power units, as long as they produce clean output (noise in the output can easily be heard with such sensitive speakers). Big power does deliver impressive dynamics with the right material, however (I am a sucker for dynamics... I can make burly power amps clip). 

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